USDA’s Big (NOT) Announcement AT NAFB Washington Watch

Chuck Zimmerman

It was prepped as a “Major Announcement” by USDA and I applaud USDA for working with farm radio & tv reporters like those attending today’s NAFB Washington Watch program, however, news it was not.

You can listen to the complete press conference with Ag Secretary Mike Johanns here: Johanns Press Conference

USDA Press Conference

Pictured are (l to r) USDA Deputy Secretary, Chuck Conner (sworn in this morning), Secretary of Ag Mike Johanns and NAFB president Emery Kleven, Waitt Farm Network.

Basically Johanns announced that USDA would be conducting a series of public listening sessions on the next farm bill. No start date, locations or format.

I think USDA was trying to use this opportunity with farm broadcasters in town to build a relationship with the media and that’s a good thing. I just wish there had been more details to the announcement.

During the session both sides, USDA and farm broadcasters, took turns patting each other on the back, so it’s obvious this morning’s press conference was a way for further strengthening a long standing relationship. Several of the broadcasters in attendance volunteered to host a listening session in their area, including NAFB at their annual convention in Kansas City this November.

Audio, Government, NAFB, NAFB Washington Watch

He Remembers When He Got An Electric Typewriter At USDA

Chuck Zimmerman

After 31 years at USDA, Larry Quinn, Assistant Director of Communications, has worked for 11 different Secretaries of Agriculture. At the NAFB Washington Watch dinner he spent some time reviewing the many changes that have taken place in the communications field since he started at the department.

Larry has been instrumental in assisting farm broadcasters with the Washington Watch program for many years. Tomorrow he’s arranged for us all to visit USDA and we’re prepped for a major announcement by Sec. Johanns.

Larry Quinn

Government, NAFB, NAFB Washington Watch

NCGA President Talks About Marketing And Legislation In Latest ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman

In our ZimmCast this week I interview Leon Corzine, President of the National Corn Growers Association, about marketing and legislation. Although sometimes these seem very separate they really are very related aspects of the business of agriculture.

You can listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast

Leon Corzine & Chuck

The current edition of ZimmCast is always available in our “Audio Programming” sidebar.

Ag Group, Audio, NAFB, NAFB Washington Watch, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Welcome To Washington Watch

Chuck Zimmerman

One of the Chairmen of this year’s NAFB Washington Watch is Tom Brand, KFEQ. Tom got things started today at the opening luncheon by welcoming the 33 farm broadcasters in attendance as well as the various organizational representatives.

Tom Brand

Tom is also a past president of NAFB.

NAFB, NAFB Washington Watch

NRECA Members Learn How Bureaucrats Work

Chuck Zimmerman

Today at the pre-NRECA Legislative Conference members can attend a morning session called “Congressional Insight” that turns them into federal legislators. They’re set up in a congressional office setting and made to deal with staff, media, legislation and round-the-clock meetings with constituents, lobbyists and colleagues.

That’s followed by a class in ethics. Sounds to me like something some real senators and representatives ought to attend!

Later on today official registration begins before this conference kicks off tomorrow.


Major Announcement Tomorrow From USDA

Chuck Zimmerman

Tommorow the NAFB group will attend a USDA briefing at which Ag Secretary, Mike Johanns, is expected to make a big announcement. At least that’s what the press release USDA put out late Friday said.


WASHINGTON, Apr. 29, 2005–Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns will make
a major news announcement during a speech to the National Association
of Farm Broadcasters.

WHO: Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns

WHAT: Secretary Johanns speaks to NAFB members, makes announcement

WHEN: Monday, May 02, 2005, 9:10 a.m. EDT

I’ll be there and post what we find out right here as soon as I can. I should have the audio available to listen to depending on what type of access they have available. You’d think it would be pretty good. However, at this Hyatt hotel I’m in, I’ve been having some technical problems accessing our web server via their high speed wireless access. It’s not making me happy.

Government, NAFB, NAFB Washington Watch

NAFB Issues Forum Main Item On Agenda

Chuck Zimmerman

If you’ve ever been to a National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) fall convention you’re familiar with Trade Talk. It’s a trade show where companies and organizations set up booths and staff them with representatives who are available to be interviewed by the broadcasters who attend.

Here at the NAFB Washington Watch they have a small version of that called the Issues Forum. Instead of elaborate booths though, companies and organizations who are very involved in legislative issues have tables that are staffed with representatives available for interviews on these types of topics. It’s much less product and service oriented.

The Issues Forum takes place this afternoon, sandwiched in between a morning board meeting and professional improvement session, followed by a banquet tonight.

NAFB, NAFB Washington Watch